Adelaide’s own Tom Gaynor, better known as Allday, has been a mainstay in Australian hip-hop since 2012. The 24-year-old rapper recently signed with the U.S.-based Wind-up Records and released his 7-track Soft Grunge Love Rap EP for free download. We had the pleasure of chatting with Allday, as we discussed his brief stint as a stand-up comedian, his breakthrough single “You Always Know the DJ,” and the new EP, which is one of our favorites of the year.
I want to start by talking about your tragically short stand-up comedy career. I’m a huge stand-up fan, and you were pretty good. How did you get into doing stand-up?
I don’t think I was very good, but it was cool to be a part of that world and learn it. I just always thought I should try it. Me and my friends grew up watching Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle. So I really wanted to do comedy, and it was fun.
Who are your favorite comedians?
The two I mentioned above, also Louis C.K., Bill Burr, Hannibal Buress, Patrice O’Neal, Tig Notaro, Anthony Jeselnik, Zach Galifianakis. Heaps of Australian comedians I started out doing comedy with are pretty awesome now, too. And lots I probably can’t think of right now.
Did you reach a point where you felt like you had to choose between stand-up and music?
Yeah, I felt like it was time to focus my attention in one direction. Music felt like it was more natural, and I felt like I would have to “suck up” less to get ahead in music. So I’m glad about my decision.
You were an independent artist completely by choice for quite some time during your come up. What are some of the most important rules to follow as an independent artist?
Don’t blame the world if nobody fucks with your music, blame yourself. Good music spreads on it’s own. That’s the main one I try to remember.
The first track I heard of yours was “You Always Know the DJ.” Can you talk about how you came up with the idea of the song and the day you made it? Did you know immediately it would be a hit?
I think we were listening to 808s & Heartbreak and Kid Cudi songs. And “Take Care”/”Hold On We’re Going Home” by Drake and trying to apply that musical style to my own. I think in the end it turned out like a more naïve, Australian version of the guys I look up to. And that was cool. I had the idea for the song for ages, and it was tough for me to record because the chorus is a bit out of my vocal range, but I was glad with how it turned out.
I read somewhere that you sent a movie script to Will Ferrell’s office in LA? What was the movie about, and did you ever hear back from them?
They sent me an automated email saying, “Your script has been destroyed and not read,” seemed a bit harsh. The movie was pretty dumb, it was like an adventure story. I think it lacked a solid plot, but it seemed funny to me at the time. Maybe when I get rich I’ll dig up the script and make it with my own funding.
You recently released one of my favorite EPs of the year Soft Grunge Love Rap. I really like that name. It’s a fitting description of the genre of music. Where did you get the idea for the title?
Thank you. It was basically a joke description for the genre of music I make because a lot of my songs are about love and feelings and drugs. I made it up one day and changed it to my “genre” on my Facebook page. People started noticing it and saying that’s a cool title, so I named my mixtape Soft Grunge Love Rap as well.
One of my favorite songs on the EP is “No Better.” I want to know which verse on that track is your favorite. I can’t tell which verse you go hardest on.
Also, the Swiss embassy part is great.
Thanks! That Swiss Embassy part was actually like a mistake. I realized it while we were recording the track, so we had to make a joke out of it. I think the second verse is my favorite because it makes me emotional. “When I was 15 I saw this story getting told” — I did see it in my mind, and it’s cool than I’ve been able to do a lot of the things I wanted to.
I really like “Angels,” but you did say, “Time moves like a girl butt jiggles.” I don’t think that’s scientifically accurate. Are you trying to say time is cyclical?
(I say “good butt jiggles” btw). But damn, I knew the physics of that line would eventually come into question. I was really high when I thought of that line. And I’ve been trying to remember what I actually meant by it. I think I was talking about time being cyclical, which obviously isn’t true, but I feel like experiences are cyclical. So what I was saying was: “We’re here doing this shit that we’ve always been doing, still trying to crack the code of happiness.”
Well, he was actually on Startup Cult. He produced “Clouds.” We met up at his house in L.A., smoked a lil’ spliff, and worked on songs. He’s a really cool dude, fun to work with, and I’m sure I’ll make more with him in the future.
Now, it’s time for the speed round™ (trademark pending)
Streaming service of choice? Spotify at the moment.
Album that recently inspired you? PARTYNEXTDOOR 2
Favorite team to play with on FIFA? Argentina, I’m a weapon with Argentina.
Thoughts on the Drake-Meek Mill beef? I hope nobody dies!!! I like them both!!!!!!!
You just signed with the U.S.-based Wind-up Records. Is the next goal trying to break in America?
I guess so, but personally my goal is just to make good music and be a good person.
What is the plan for the rest of 2015?
Maybe tour USA, make songs, try to eat healthy foods, and stay alive.